If you build a building, you must have a good foundation. If you want an engine to last, you need to change the oil. If you want a muscle to grow, you have to work it. If marketing your facility is truly important, you must invest in a dedicated marketing person.
Many of you out there are saying to yourself, “I have that.” The vast majority of you have someone with the dual title of Admissions/Marketing, and the reality is that person may be better suited for admissions than they are for marketing.
Marketing or sales, regardless of how you refer to it, is about building relationships and it takes time to do that. If someone has to split their time and efforts, it is reasonable to expect one of those functions is going to suffer. Having a dedicated person helps ensure that does not occur.
To be able to deliver programs and services that are in demand, you have to get out and ask questions of those people that refer to you. You also will be able to acquire information about your competitors, what they do well and what they don’t. This is valuable when trying to decide what product lines your facility will be offering. The key to receiving this information is establishing a relationship. People don’t share information with strangers.
Not only will you obtain how they feel about your competition, you will gain equally valuable insight about yourself. Oftentimes, you don’t realize you have a problem until someone outside of your camp tells you. How you respond to this goes a long way to building trust with that person or group, and further deepens your relationship. This is only done with human interaction and that requires an investment in time and manpower.